« 前へ次へ »
THE MAD TORY'S SONG.
This sweet madrigal was brought to our office by one of our devils, who picked it up in the street. He thinks it fell from the pocket of a wobegone elderly gentleman, who came out of Mr. Blair's Committee Room, and seemed to be making a variety of evolutions to avoid the approaches of a messenger-at-arms, who had been seen lurking for some time about the doors of that conclave of eminent patriots.
I bought myself a good freehold,
Down in the west countree :
My vote was worth to me.
And buttermilk and
From great Lord Dunderdale.
'Twas generous cups of wine : My carthly prospects all have fled
With that good vote of mine!
How can I e'er forget ?
Perhaps a coronet.
Judge Dick, and Sheriff Ned; Lord Grey has stolen the leaven from
My children's promised bread.
For me are yawning wide;
And chains of Morningside.
Even till the morning grey,
With hip, hip, hip, hurra!
Walk'd up and drank with me,
Was right good company. He spoke of English politics,
Of great Duke Arthur's fall,
And Acheron canal.
He wiled his hours away,
With Viscount Castlereagh.
The envious moon had ta'en;
To fetch it back again,
A seizin was the steed;
With comct'meteor speed.
The milky way was deep and rough;
I nearly miss'd a fall; "Twas new Macadamised with stuff
From dear old Sarum's wall. At me the starry lion roar'd,
His fangs grim Cancer spread;
His slop-pail on my head.
My own, I saw it plain,
To curl thy grisly mane!
Swore it was deeply hid
Beneath a pyramid.
Came o'er my boiling brain : 'Twas madness all,- my heart's blood
hiss'd, And sparkled like Champaign. Away! ye vampires, and ye gowls !
Avaunt ! ye creeping things!
At me, your wicker wings!
Against our cause combine;
A vote as good as mine.
With stiff and surly air,
To vote for Mister Blair.
When our good thirty-three
In peace and jollity.
The town was calm and still;
All clamorous for the Bill.
And golden days they were
King, And Pitt, Prime Minister. On well-greased wheels our empire rolled,
As smooth as smooth could be ; But now I've lost my good freehold,
Down in the west countrce.
Deep in the dust our kingdom's trod,
While I am mourning thus ;
Our glory's gone from us !
Before this sun shall set,
Into a bayonet.
Thine arms must set us free!
Some modern Braxfield in divan,
With some revived Eskgrove,
Direct to Sydney Cove.
We'll make them weep and wail;
The Earl of Lauderdale
Our great Jack Ketch of State :
Blood-dyed, aloft will bear.
I drag from place to place;
My worn and hectic face.
For me are yawning wide ;
And chains of Morningside!
Thine aid-de-camp to lead us on,
To free this labouring earth,
In foeman's blood our hands we'll wet;
We'll tear them limb by limb; To try our prisoners, we will get
Some Rhadamanthus grim;
THE IRISH COUNSELLOR.
Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se
TAERE is no place in Ireland which indicates more strongly the peculiarities of the Irish character than the hall of the Four Courts in Dublin. Go into it, any day in term ; and you will, if you are a stranger, be horrified at the noise, the buzz, and the clatter of tongues which salute your ears from every side of its extensive area. You will be astonished, at first sight, to perceive the extreme number of powdered wigs, and Alaxen coifs, as compared with those heads which appear undecorated by any extraneous ornament. To every client there appear to be three counsellors; and for every attorney thirty lawyers. We shall not, at this moment, investigate what may be the various subjects of conversation amongst the multifarious groups into which the multitudinous mass is separated: but there they are ; the care-worn client and the shrewd. looking solicitor enveloped and almost smothered up by the Tory law. yers who are out, and the Whig lawyerlings who are expecting to get in.
How comes it to pass, that, in a country which is impoverished, which is nearly destitute of trade, and almost solely devoted to agriculture, there should be such numbers educated to a profession completely dependent for its existence upon the complicated arrangements of socie. ty, and particularly the extent of its commercial transactions ? Every matter connected with land can be arranged in the Court of Chancery, or by a trial at the assizes. It is well known, that in the Courts of King's Bench, and the Exchequer, there are not, on an average, each term, fifteen actions on bills of exchange. As to the Court of Common Pleas, since it was deserted by the facetious and remorseless Norbury, the situation of a judge is, from the paucity of business, a complete sinecure.
Why are there so many lawyers in Ireland ? This is a question asked by every stranger visiting Dublin ; and as its elucidation may also serve to give an illustration of Irish character, we shall endeavour to answer it.
The Irish are fond of “a skirmish,” whether it be with the bones. breaking shillelah, or the heart-breaking tongue. They like to witness a row, either in the open field, or in the close court-house. As their forefathers took especial pleasure in the game of hurling, where a man's neck might be smashed, so do the Hibernians of the present day rejoice in beholding a conflict of wits, in which a man's character may be crack. ed. In neither case can ill-nature be ascribed as the motive for delighting in a hostile exhibition of strength. The Irish are a romantic and an imaginative people; and what they have thought of in their day-dreams they wish to see acted in real life before them. In days of old, the pursuits of the Irish aristocracy were, “ war and the chace ;" in the times of persecution, the Catholic was shut out from every honourable profes. sion, and his humble ambition (for he could aspire to none above it) was to excel in feats of personal prowess ; now, it is the anxious hope of the poorest to see his son holding the position which O'Connell so nobly occupies, “ the assailant of the tyrant, the protector of the weak, the advocate of the injured.” Whether it be in the capacity of discharging such duties to his client, or of attacking the clients of his opponent, there is nothing so gratifying to the Irish gentry and people as that of witnessing a forensic contest. There is in it all the charms and excite. ments of gambling ; there is, according to their opinions, either the low stake of life, or the high stake of property to be decided; and they consider, that, according to the skill of the lawyer, the game is lost or won.
Such is the leading incitement that brings a young man to the bar in Ireland. But there are other causes to induce him to attach himself to the profession. The Irish are a genteel people ; they have an instinctive abhorrence of any thing which touches upon what is regularly called “ low life.” The mechanic is ashamed of his trade ; the shopkeeper of his business. When either of them acquire property, instead of bringing up a son to their own occupation, they wish to have him “ an esquire all at once ;” and accordingly the bar is selected, as “ who knows but little Pat might be a Lord Chancellor, or a puisne judge, at the least ?” Master Pat, therefore, goes to a Latin school ; he learns the classics ; enters college; dines at the King's Inns in Dublin ; posts off to Lon. don ; feeds there, and returns in two or three years, with full leave and liberty to put powdered horse-hair on his head, and is introduced into all companies as “ my son, the counsellor."
The agitation which has prevailed in Ireland for the last mine or ten years has added its quota to the profession. We have known men, who were comfortable farmers, and (it is scarcely credible !) some of them attornies, in good practice, who, unfortunately for themselves, had “ the gift of the gab.” They could, without hesitation, tire a meeting for half an hour, in pouring forth commonplaces, in a most confident tone, and with the most faultless impudence. They could minic O'Connell, steal a metaphor from Sheil, and throw back the flaps of their coat like Jack Lawless ; and for doing all this, and nothing more, they were, at country meetings, and even in the old Association" itself, applauded “ to the very echo.” We have known such unmerited approbation to turn the heads of men, who thought the plaudits were given to them,
and not to “ the cause," of which they were the insignificant supporters. The consequence has been, that many, who, but for agitation, would still be comfortable and independent members of society, are now lawyers without briefs, and barristers without clients. They walk the hall of the Four Courts, sad memorials of the weakness and folly of human nature !
It is not necessary for us to allude to those young gentlemen who become lawyers ; because they know that on assuming the character, they set forth on the straight road to sinecure. Those individuals are quite conscious that they have not talent ; but they are dependent upon nepotism for promotion. These are the “ waiters upon Providence,” the hangers-on; the sons, nephews, grand-sons, and grand-nephews of chancellors and judges. Each of them is as certain of being provided for by the elevation of a relative, as that the new judge's butler will obtain the exalted perch of “ a crier.” It is as improbable that an Irish judge will sit ten years on the bench, without wearing a full-bottomed wig, as it is for him to leave his comfortable nest, without having deposited in his court a young brood of placemen. The Saurins are now fastened on the country ; half a century will not see extinct the Plunketts, the Bushes, and the O'Gradys. A judge's relations are like a bishop's sons and sons-in-law-innumerable. They spring up in the hot-bed of patronage as fast as mushrooms; and there they remain, till death cuts them off, or the new successor to office spreads a fresh layer of corruption, and plants a fresh stock of dependents. To such « counsellors” our observations can scarcely be applied. They run no risk in adopting a profession ; for they take up the cards in the game of life, certain of having “ all the honours" dealt out to them.
Ambition, pride, and vanity, fill the Four Courts' Hall with the majority of its unemployed barristers; but the exceptions to this remark are numerous. There are to be found, at the Irish bar, men gifted with the highest order of genius, of first-rate talents, and unbounded learning. We do not now refer to those who are known to possess those qualifica. tions, but to men to whom the opportunity has been denied of manifesting them ; who pine on in almost hopeless poverty, or are sinking gradually into the chill of despair, to which the continued mismanagement of Ireland and her resources seems to doom them. Such men would succeed in their profession as certainly as O’Loghlen, Wallace, Richards, Bennett, Ball, Jackson, and Greene, have succeeded; but their powers never can be known, unless they betake themselves to the Criminal, or the Civil Bill Courts; and going to either of these, unless upon the most extraordinary occasions, is regarded by the profession as equal to a sen. tence of banishment to Botany Bay, or transportation to the shores of Africa.
This is the situation of the Irish bar in the year 1832; a profession filled to overflowing, and hackneyed with vulgarity. In the courts, the counsellors are walking over each other; they are crowded together like flies in a bottle of syrup. In the streets, they are meeting you at every corner. They are at tea-parties as common as saffron-cakes; and at balls, there is more attention paid to the fiddlers than to them. They fill the tea-urn, and dance with the governess; they call the coach, and buy the play-bill; they dandle the baby, and carry the matron's muffling; they look on while cards are playing ; and if the servant is out of the way, help round the refreshments; they are seconds to all peaceable duellists, and swear informations to have their principals arrested ; they « try" the little boys in their Latin, and the young misses in their French ; they are seldom to be met with at dinner-parties, and they are asked out in the evening, as being a more useful stick than a chair in a quadrille; they are the slaves of the women and the drudges of the men, and the butts for children's practical jokes. To “ such base uses". are applied an Irish counsellor-a poor Irish counsellor- an Irish counsellor without a brief!
MARRIAGES ARE MADE IN HEAVEN.
It may be so, but we have our doubts upon the matter. Heaven, we think, would have made neater jobs than most of them are. Not that we incline, with certain Manicheans, to give the other power the credit of their manufacture. They are a cut above him. That the Devil inhabits hell, we know ; but we also know that he did not make it.
We have sometimes wondered that Milton did not think it necessary to prefix a “Doctrine and Discipline of Marriage” to his “ Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce.” When his hand was in, he might as well have done it. Whatever evil rumours may be abroad as to his practical fitness for making the married state happy, “and keeping it so," it is evident, from his account of the life Adam led in Paradise, that he had very pretty theoretical notions on the subject. Perhaps, as some old heathen philosophers held the business of life to be preparation for death, Milton esteemed divorce the great object of matrimony, and, like other great men, forgot the means in the end.
There are two main obstacles to the proper choice of a partner. People are, for the most part, in love, as far as their natures will permit, when they marry; and hence a twofold delusion. Firstly, each party sees the other through the glowing medium of passion; secondly, each is for the time in reality a different being from what he or she was before, and is to be again.
And firstly, of the first.–Each sees the other through the glowing medium of passion; which makes the object seen through it differ as much from its ordinary phasis as Arthur's seat seen through the tremulous atmosphere of a summer's noon-day, with the dim shadow of a drowsy cloud stealing over it at times, like the drooping of woman's eyelid veiling the glow of love, does from Arthur's seat when the rain cloud wreathes its summit, and the damp chilly gale sobs down the Hunter's bog, and every crag stands out with more than wonted blackness and harshness.
It is this that makes poets such pre-eminently bad selectors of wives. They, more keenly alive than other men to every throb of sense and sentiment, have also the marrying instinct more strong within them. Rich in all stores of imaginative wealth, they can, under the access of passion, hang festoons of all that is rich and beautiful round the ungainliest persons. A strange bashfulness ever attendant on the most gifted minds keeps them at a timorous distance from all who do not meet them half-way; and a shrinking sensitiveness, which is pained even by beholding what is unamiable, makes them translate every indication favourably. In short, the exceptions are few in which poets have not made such an owlish choice in marriage as to astonish every one.
But a more serious source of misapprehension than the erroneous opi. nion entertained of the future partner's character, is the temporary